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Vol. 14, No. 4 Week of January 25, 2009
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Arctic Directory: MACTEC Engineering and Consulting broadens expertise for Alaska operations

Cutting-edge company uses innovative methodologies, technologies, and processes to complete high-quality projects for diverse Alaska clients

 MACTEC Engineering and Consulting Inc. formerly Harding Lawson Associates, has provided engineering, environmental, and geoscience services to more than 150 locations throughout Alaska since 1969. With our significant presence in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Ketchikan and Wasilla, and a national team of experts to draw from, MACTEC provides specialized knowledge and experience to Alaska projects.


Q. Where is your company located?


A. Our Alaska Operation Headquarters is located at 601 East 57th Place, Anchorage, Alaska. MACTEC also has offices in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Ketchikan and Seattle, Washington. Nationwide, MACTEC has nearly 100 offices in over 35 states, with the corporate headquarters located near Atlanta, Georgia. All told, the company employs some 3,100 engineers, scientists and support staff.


 Q. When was the company founded and what was its original name?


A. MACTEC was originally known as Harding Lawson Associates in Alaska. MACTEC (and its predecessors) have been doing business in Alaska continuously since 1969.


Q.  Who heads up your company and who is on its senior management team?


A. Ann E. Massey, CEO, and J. Allen Kibler, president, lead MACTEC from corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia. Sean P. Thomas is the managing principal for Alaska.


Q. Describe any partnership arrangements and when they became effective.


A. MACTEC has numerous partnerships nationwide and is open to establishing mutually beneficial teaming arrangements.


Q.  What services does MACTEC offer?


A. In Alaska, MACTEC provides civil, transportation, solid waste, geotechnical, structural, electrical and water-wastewater engineering. Other services include hazardous site characterization and remediation, geoscience, environmental sampling, permitting, specialty studies (wetlands, wildlife, cultural, etc.), regulatory and compliance consultation, and NEPA documentation.


Q.  What is your company’s primary business sector? Major clients?


A. We serve both government and private-sector clients. They include U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Air Force, Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Municipality of Anchorage, BP Exploration Alaska, Conoco Phillips, Alyeska Pipeline, Marathon, Aurora Gas, Chevron and Unocal.


Q.  How many employees does MACTEC have?


A. Nationwide MACTEC has over 3,100 employees. Thirty professionals (and growing) serve the Alaska operation.


Q.  Describe your essential equipment in general terms.


A. We maintain a full-size onsite geotechnical soils laboratory, a fenced laydown yard and multiple field equipment storage facilities, including CONEX trailers. We have all necessary field equipment in-house to quickly mobilize to remote locations and complete wide-reaching scopes of work.


Q.  Is MACTEC expanding any of its operations and/or locations?


A. MACTEC is working to grow clientele and services in Alaska, Washington State and nationally. We’re positioning ourselves to better serve clients by expanding resources in Fairbanks, and expanding the Mat-Su Valley office. Through multiple relationships with Southeast Alaska partners, MACTEC is expanding our capabilities in Ketchikan and pursuing a presence in Juneau and Haines.


Q.  Is the company changing any of its services?


A. MACTEC is a cutting-edge company, using the latest innovative methodologies, technologies and processes to complete high-quality work products on time and within budget. MACTEC seeks to remain abreast of the latest industry and market standards so we can tailor our services to best meet client needs.


Q.  What is your company’s main strength?


A. MACTEC employs only the best engineering and science professionals and provides rigorous training-testing requirements to ensure we are fully capable of serving our clients’ needs. We use top-notch real-time project management, cost control, scheduling and business applications to not only manage projects efficiently, but also to anticipate potential challenges before they become problems.

MACTEC provides each project client with a project manager responsible for the overall success of the project. Moreover, MACTEC also provides a project principal to every project client. The principal is responsible for the overall technical quality of the work product providing principal-level consultation, review and quality assurance. To attain either of these positions within MACTEC, these managers complete intensive required training, courses and mentoring, as well as meet minimum educational and experience requirements.

 As a result of MACTEC’s ability to recruit and retain talented professionals, to provide intensive required training, and to solicit constant feedback from clients, over 95 percent of our approximately 5,000 worldwide clients have expressed complete satisfaction with our services.


Q.  What new markets, clients or projects did your company attract in the last year? 


A. Our clientele is diversified; however, some notable hires in the regulatory-compliance and water/wastewater arenas are enabling us to better serve oil, gas, and mining clients as well as rural communities and municipal utilities.


Q.  Has the company invested in any new technology in the last two years?  


A. MACTEC’s investment in personnel training and everyday use of computer applications that aide in project management, cost control, schedule control and management of change has enabled our project managers to better serve our clients.


Q.   What are the biggest obstacles to completing work the company undertakes?  


A. MACTEC has operated in Alaska since 1969 and has encountered some unique challenges in conducting business here. However, MACTEC’s personnel pride themselves on being innovative, adaptable, and creative when crafting solutions to client needs.


Q.   What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years?


A. The current national economy is a formidable challenge. MACTEC will continue to diversify our services, clientele and capabilities to best position ourselves for continued client satisfaction, growth and business success.


 Q.  What do you see as future trends or opportunities for your company from, say, political events or long-term weather fluctuations?   


A. Given the need to develop and/or expand sustainable infrastructure, produce energy from sources both non-renewable and renewable, as well as securing our nation, there is ample opportunity for MACTEC to offer over forty years of Alaskan expertise to solving future challenges. It is an exciting time to live and work in Alaska and MACTEC looks forward to its next forty years in the 49th State.


Q.   Is there a humorous story you can share from your company’s years in business in Alaska?


A. Although not entirely humorous, given that the MACTEC name has been in use since only 2002 in Alaska, many people are unfamiliar with the name. However, when they make the connection between Harding Lawson Associates and MACTEC, it is rewarding that our predecessor had such a strong professional reputation. We enjoy building on that reputation.


Q.  Does your company have an anniversary or other landmark event coming up?


A. 2009 will mark the 40th anniversary of MACTEC’s doing business in Alaska.


Q.  What is the average length of time employees work for the company?


A. Our staff tenure ranges from newly hired engineers to 25-year veterans. MACTEC rewards dedication and hard work; many personnel have advanced to management and technical leadership positions in both our local and national operations.


Q.  What is your company’s safety record?


A. Every staff gathering opens with a safety minute to discuss safe working practices, and we complete regular health and safety audits. Alaska operations have had zero OSHA recordable incidents or lost-time accidents since before the company became MACTEC (2002). We have incurred zero motor vehicle safety violations during the same time period.


Q.  Do you maintain a website?


A. Yes, it’s

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